Anorak News | Madeleine McCann: A Catholic Writes

Madeleine McCann: A Catholic Writes

by | 30th, May 2007

FROM the Anorak Forums, Otherwize writes:

I’d like to add another, Mediterranean, perspective to the argument.

First of all, the campaign is bringing the issue of child abuse and abduction into the public arena in Catholic and Orthodox countries where awareness is low – and not because it isn’t relevant either.

Parents of previously abducted children, though rueful that they didn’t get this kind of coverage, are in fact grateful to the McCanns because they are rattling the cage.

On the issue of the Pope, I have to admit I groaned a bit loudly when I saw the Pope Show go on the road on this issue. Many dissident Catholics like me find the media adulation of the Pope hilarious. A very elderly Benedictine monk emailed me his own epitaph on John Paul at the time of the mindless tabloid sanctification of the late JP who did nothing useful for any of the worlds oppressed peoples. It ran: “The Higher the Monkey he climb, The better you can see he arsehole.”

Anyway we are waiting to see if there are any signs of connected earthly life in Benedict and this is an interesting development – although it is not that easy to see how his action will pan out. One thing is for sure – his audience with the McCanns will have a huge impact in Catholic countries.

What I am hoping for very fervently from Benedict today is an “It is not too late for redemption” message, which might just get someone to act on what they know. It is also just possibly the start of a brave move on B16’s part to address paedophilia in a modern context, and use his considerable intellect to try and bridge the gap between the Church’s teachings on sin and the possibility of forgiveness and modern science’s understanding of sexual pathology.

From the McCanns point of view, if Madeleine or her abductor is in a Catholic country they can’t do better than get the Pope involved. And I sincerely hope that their prayers are answered.

Setting aside all the ribaldry and cynicism because of scandals associated with the church there is a role that priests can play because of their vows of confidentiality.

A thing that has bugged me for a long time is this question: If a young man finds himself attracted to children presumably in the vast majority of cases it is not a happy discovery and many must try to suppress it. What is freaky to me is that in the prevailing climate of a witch hunt, hatred and fear there is simply no place for a man like this to go and seek help. The Church has given advice in the past but it was bad.

If (and it is a very big IF) Benedict can begin to extract the church from it’s entrenched ostrich position on sexuality in general then there is great potential for the good they could do in Catholic communities. For this I will be watching his words with interest. But I am not optimistic.

Posted: 30th, May 2007 | In: Reviews Comments (11) | TrackBack | Permalink